by Aki Schilz

I have spent the last six weeks in Ecuador, and will be uploading my poetry travel journal and some #NaPoWriMo efforts to this blog shortly, but in the meantime, here is a poem I wrote on my last day. I’d like to dedicate it to Sonia and her family, with whom I stayed and who were throughout my time in beautiful Mindo, Pichincha, the most wonderful hosts. This poem was written at, and for, the Reserva Rio Bravo, which became a veritable home from home for me, and where I hope to return next year.


guatuso slips out of the forest
and into the sunlit garden

where two horses graze on long grass:
they belong to Arquimedes, but he is in town.

Armando skips between downed trunks
splashing from rock to rock, in bright yellow boots

while the palm tree transmission tower
intercepts the riotous frog concert in the pond

where snakes sleep, curled like ammonites
in the spreading shade of banana leaves.

The screeching call of the gallo de la peña
– flash of red, streaking upward –

does not disturb the silvery larvae
sequestered in a thin layer of humus

just above knotted roots, and below
a procession of ants, metallic in the sun.

Under a scatter of rain
the dwarf roses are in bloom

At night, the clouds roll in from the mountain
where lightning casts shadows, huge as giants.

One by one the fireflies cast their lights,
like tiny anchors, into the mist.

Reserva Rio Bravo